I spent the weekend in New York City to be a Visiting Critic at the New York Academy of Art, where I completed my MFA in sculpture a few years ago. It’s always interesting to go back and visit places where you’ve spent large amounts of time. I always find it interesting to observe what’s changed and what has stayed the same. It seemed to me from speaking to the chair of faculty who asked me to do the critiques that they’ve made significant progress in terms of the facilities as well as in terms of expanding the range of topics in the curriculum.
I’ve found that I enjoy doing Visiting critiques, I like having the opportunity to speak to students with whom I don’t have any background or experience with, and being given the opportunity to open them up to a new and fresh perspective removed from the context of their school. The relationship is so vastly different from what I experience in my regular classes, where I have a strong background on the progress and development of each individual student. From the student perspective I think a critique from someone you have no prior experience with is a crucial experience to have. So frequently the people who evaluate your work in a professional setting don’t know anything about you or your progress. I believe it’s important to have this experience before entering the professional world, so that one is prepared with how to handle how different this experience can be.
The New York Academy of Art